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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Rewind: 1985 Once Upon A Time - Simple Minds

Seventh Studio Album from Simple Minds. It was their third in a row that made it to Top Three and the second in a row to make it to #1.

Now, I loved the debut album from Simple Minds, Life In A Day (1979) I thought was fantastic but apart from a few songs here and there I didn't really enjoy the albums that followed until 1982's New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84). Sparkle in the Rain that followed in 1984 did nothing much for me at all but Once Upon A Time made me sit up and take notice of them again. A lot of that had to do with the Alive and Kicking which I thought was one of their best singles in years. Also Ghostdancing had struck me as a real gem of a song when I saw them perform it on the TV at Live Aid in Philadelphia in the summer of 1985.

Today marks 30 years since it was released. Still sounds fine to my ears.

Once Upon A Time - Simple Minds
Virgin
Produced by Jimmy Iovine and Bob Clearmountain
Released 21st October 1985
UK Chart #1
US Chart #10

Personnel
Simple Minds
    Jim Kerr – vocals
    Charlie Burchill – guitar
    Michael MacNeil – piano, synthesizer
    Mel Gaynor – drums, vocals
    John Giblin – bass

Additional personnel
    Carlos Alomar – backing vocals
    Michael Been of The Call – backing vocals
    Robin Clark – vocals
    Sue Hadjopoulos – percussion
    Frank Simms and George Simms of The Simms Brothers Band – backing vocals


Four singles were taken from the album: 
(September 1985 UK No. 7, US #3)

(January 1986 UK No. 10, US #14)

(March 1986 UK No. 9, US #28)

 (November 1986 UK #13)

One of the things that annoyed me a little with the singles was the fact that the B-Sides on all but All The Things She Said were Instrumentals of the A-Side. Even on All The Things She Said I thought it was poor to have a live version of Don't You Forget About Me on the B-Side. It was a song they were reluctant to record in the first place having turned it down once, this was after Cy Curnin of The Fixx, Bryan Ferry (could you imagine him doing this?) and Billy Idol had all declined it. But encouraged by their American label they promptly recorded it in the space of three hours and forgot about it (no pun intended of course!). The single of course was a #1 hit in the US and reached #7 in the UK. I think they were enouraged to include it on Once Upon A Time but chose not to (I'm glad they didn't, it's not that I don't like the song, I just got sick of hearing it - a bit like The Furs Pretty in Pink!).


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